The past few weeks have been a whirlwind. Businesses have closed their doors. Schools have canceled classes. Trips are delayed. And it’s never been harder to find a roll of toilet paper.
As the coronavirus keeps more and more people at home, it’s hard to know what to do. You may be asking, “How can I help?” or “What do I do with all this free time?”
Social distancing doesn’t mean you have to stop helping others.
Here are four creative ways you can still support your local community and others around the world:
Remember independent bookstores
If you’re quarantined at home for the next few weeks, chances are you’ll be picking up a book or two. After all, now is the perfect time to catch up on your reading.
But instead of downloading from Amazon or racing to one of the big chain stores with your protective face mask, consider buying from your local bookseller. Many are offering “curbside pickup.” Simply order your books over the phone (or online, if that’s an option) and let them know when you arrive. You never have to leave the car!
Buying from an independent bookstore and other locally owned small businesses puts money back into your community. And it needs you now more than ever.
Check on the elderly
You may not be able to visit loved ones in the nursing home right now, but what about the elderly people in your neighborhood? Many of them live alone or can’t leave the house at all since they are in the most high-risk group for contracting the coronavirus.
During the next few weeks, call them up and ask them if they need anything — food, bottled water, toilet paper, whatever it may be — and offer to go get it. This act of kindness will keep them from going to the store themselves and ensure they stay safe and healthy at home.
And if you’re concerned about spreading the virus, you can always leave their items on the front porch. Either way, they’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Choose drive-thru or delivery
This period of social distancing doesn’t mean you have to cook every meal yourself. In fact, restaurants could use the business. Many have closed their indoor dining, but their drive-thru services are still open.
Take a drive for lunch one day this week. Or order pizza for your family. By doing so, you’ll keep your distance from the crowds. And you’ll also help local restaurants stay afloat.
Give to the coronavirus emergency fund
You’ve read some ways you can help your local community. But why stop there? You also have the chance to help someone in desperate need around the country and around the world during this crisis … from a child starving in Uganda to a mom who lost her job because of COVID-19 here in the U.S.
When you give to the coronavirus emergency fund, your gift will provide hygiene kits to people most at risk of the virus and even the homeless here in the United States. You’ll provide emergency food for Americans who are now out of work and can’t afford their next meal. And you’ll also help erase World Help’s $2.3 million shortfall left behind by canceled fundraisers, ensuring that our global programs can keep their doors open and continue providing vital resources for families living in poverty.
Every $8 you give would normally help rescue one person. But thanks to a $235,000 matching gift from World Help Board members, your donation is automatically DOUBLED. That means you’ll help 2X as many people.
So, if you’ve been wondering what to do with all your extra free time lately, consider making a difference both locally and globally.
When you do, you’ll offer physical help and spiritual hope … even during these dark times.